Blarney Castle, 1446
This splendid mediaeval castle in County Cork is the site of the world-famous Blarney Stone, an otherwise insignificant piece of masonry whose wonderful gift of flowing speech is said to be released by kissing it. This oscular feat may only be accomplished, however, by hanging upside down from the parapet of the very high castle, a factor which has undoubtedly contributed to the stone's powers of expression! The loquacious Winston Churchill visited the stone in 1912. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I was the first to use the expression 'blarney' when, in frustration at the long-winded and evasive answers of the castle's lord in respect of a minor legal matter, she exclaimed 'This is more Blarney!' Today 'blarney' suggests cajoling and flattering nonsense, a 'tall story' told with charm used to hoodwink another.
This large (32") pen and ink drawing shows the castle rising to a great height above a tree-lined bend in the River Martin, and the corner tower of a now demolished house. The drawing is one of a series I did about 10-15 years ago of the Great Buildings of Ireland, although my artistic style and mood have changed in the meantime. Some of the drawings were on display at Dublin Castle for a state banquet hosted by the President of Ireland for Oliver Stone.